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Shurmur Talks About the Wildcat, Pinkston's Struggles, Sheard's Switch, and More

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Head coach Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns on the sideline against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns on the sideline against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur met with the local media prior to the team's first practice Wednesday in preparation for their game against the Miami Dolphins. Besides providing an update on the health status of right tackle Tony Pashos (discussed in an earlier post), he also mentioned things about the Wildcat, how Jason Pinkston did this past week, Jabaal Sheard's position switch, and more. I've pulled a few highlights from the press conference after the jump. [Read full Shurmur press conference here]

(On how Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard looked after he watched the game tape)- "When you watch them on tape, again I think they’re doing a nice job.  For me watching them I’m looking for improvement and we talked about younger guys making bigger jumps and I think that’s what you’re seeing with them.  With moving Jabaal over to the defensive left, now we’ll see if he can improve on that being in his new spot.  Then Phil, those defensive tackles are in there battling every week.  The schemes are a little bit different each week.  We played the Colts, which was primarily a zone-type scheme.  Prior to that, there were a lot of lead plays against Cincinnati and power players.  They’re different styles of games, especially for the inside guys.  Instead of getting zoned off, they’re getting double teamed and scooped.  When you watch the way they grade, their grades are getting better.  That’s a long way of saying, ‘They are getting better,’ but they’re different styles of games."

(On what he sees in Jayme Mitchell)- "Jayme Mitchell I think has played two good games and I knew of him just by reputation from a year ago listening to our scouts and coaches that are on the staff.  He’s pretty much played up to my expectations in terms of what he is.  I think he’s a very solid player as a defensive end, which is a hard position to play in this league."

(On how Mitchell has adjusted to the defensive end switch)- "I think he’s handled it well.  I think he plays equally well on both sides and that’s why we were able to make the switch for Jabaal."

(On why Sheard is more comfortable on the left side)- "He just is.  Again, I am not trying to make a joke.  We watch him and there are certain things about what we do.  I am left handed, I naturally throw better with my left.  Certain guys just tend to be better on doing certain things.  That’s part of the evaluation process as you get to know guys.  Sometimes when you are playing defensive tackles, instead of playing a one or the three, you play right and left.  As you get a feel for your guys, that are part of what goes on."

(On how Jason Pinkston played last week because they haven’t been talking about it)- "I thought he played okay last week.  There were a handful of plays he wants back.  He’s doing well.  For a rookie to be in there and us not be talking about him, I think is a good thing, especially at the offensive guard position. I think he’s making steady improvement, much like we talk about Jabaal and Phil.  Those three guys in there and that’s not easy duty when you’re a rookie playing in the fray in there.  I think he’s done a good job."

(On him not in being in a hurry to use the Wildcat here)- "I think there are some concepts to it that are very good.  I was more interested in us getting in a huddle, calling a play and taking a snap.  I don’t mean to make light of that, but there’s so many things that need to get coached offensively and I think that’s kind of our starting point."

(On Joshua Cribbs getting possible squib kicks)- "That is something we practice, and the question about squibs and directional? I think so.  I think that’s coming because unless you can guarantee the ball is going to go through the uprights, there is a chance it’s coming out at you.  I don’t know and again just like you practice different components of offense on defense, we do the same thing in the kicking game in terms of the return game.  You are always aware of squibs, surprising onsides, bloops and what not.  I think there is a chance you might start to see that and they could pop it way up and then just swarm the guy."

(On what specifically makes the Dolphins good)- "I think they’re very talented in a lot of spots.  If you just look at their offense for instance, I think (Chad) Henne is a fine quarterback.  He’s a big guy, we we’re just talking about how he’s had 18 scrambles in this preseason and regular season.  When he takes off and runs he’s a big thick guy that can run so that’s always a challenge.  Aside from that, he’s got Brandon Marshall who he looks for a lot and then he’s got other talented players he can spread the ball around too.  They’ve got a couple of running backs now that have had production so when you look at that, and then I’m familiar with some of their offensive linemen who are big physical guys.  That in itself is something to be of concern.  Defensively, I mentioned it yesterday, their defensive line, they’re big guys and it’s going to be a challenge to get them covered up and then protect the quarterback when we throw.  I think that’s where it starts for them.  In the secondary, I think their scheme is very, very sound.  Then they find a way to challenge the receivers as well.  Those are all the things when you break down a team you look at and say, ‘This is why they’re good.’"